I'm either addicted to sugar or I'm not. There's no in between. When I'm not, I don't crave it at all and even the smell turns me off. When I am, it's all I want, and the more I eat, the more I want it.
These past 2 weeks have been high sugar weeks for me, so today I'm starting a 3 day cleanse to kick my sugar habit and thought this would be the perfect time to help you do the same!
I've found I crave sugar for 4 different reasons.
But first... did you have any idea just how addicting sugar is? It's insane! Check out this pic!
And the more sugar you eat, the more you crave it (which I'll talk more about below!)
So what can you do about it? I've found that there are 4 main reasons I crave sugar. They are habit, boredom or emotional eating, dehydration and addiction.
Do you ever catch yourself reaching into the same spot in the pantry without even thinking about it? Grabbing the same snack after work? Needing to reach for something sweet after dinner? There's a good chance some of your eating habits are done out of habit... you've been doing them for so long that you don't even think about what you're doing now.
Habits can be tough to break.
I realized just how powerful habits were when I quit smoking about 15 years ago. It was long before ecigs and I used the nicotine patch to quit. My body was getting the nicotine it needed for the addiction, but I was still used to the habit... I was driving, I should have a cigarette in my hand. I just finished eating, time for a cigarette. It was almost like my hands didn't know what to do with themselves.
The first step to breaking a habit is to realize that you have it and then to replace that former, bad habit with a positive one. If you usually grab something sweet when you get home from work, prep fresh veggies and have hummus on hand to grab instead. If you're used to reaching for a sugary snack in the evening, make some air popped popcorn and drizzle it with a little melted coconut oil.
Boredom and emotional eating
The struggle is real. Millions of Americans suffer from emotional eating, I'd be willing to be that most don't even realize they do it. There is something very comforting about food. It brings us back to our childhood, it gives us instant pleasure and gratification, and it can seem like a better way than dealing with all the feels.
Again, recognizing these behaviors is huge! If you eat out of boredom, try to find something to occupy your time. Google something you've been wanting to learn. When's the last time you thought about and wrote out 10 crazy goals you'd like to accomplish this year? Hit up Pinterest to gather pics for your vision board. Get creative. Go for a walk. Call a friend. Volunteer your time. Workout. Google a new healthy recipe. Find a new hobby. Honestly, there's no excuse for being bored.
If it's your emotions you're eating, this is harder than just finding something to occupy your time. Allow yourself to feel your emotions. I recently watched a TED Talk with Brene Brown (you can find that video here) where she talked about vulnerability and people's fear of being vulnerable. She said it's impossible to just numb some feelings, as people often try to do with food. When you try to numb some feelings you numb all feelings. There are tons of books on the subject. The Hunger Fix by Pam Peek is great. Hit up Amazon and read some book reviews. I'm also a huge advocate for therapy and think EVERYONE should be seeing a therapist on a regular basis. (We're all our own little version of fucked up. lol)
Staying hydrated is so important for overall health. Your body is made up mostly of water and water is needed for all bodily functions. Being dehydrated can make you feel hungry, which will lead you to make poor food choices. And when you're properly hydrated you not only FEEL better, you'll LOOK better, too, as did this 42 year old woman who drank 3 liters of water a day for 28 days. (You can find the complete article here.)
Aim to drink half your body weight in ounces a day... so if you weigh 140 lbs, you'll want to drink at least 70 oz of water. If you're working out (which I know you are!) you're going to want to increase that. Personally, I try to drink more than that.
Like in that pic about sugar addiction above, sugar has been found to be as addictive, if not more, than cocaine. It's no wonder so many people struggle with eating too much of it! And on top of that, sugar is found in EVERYTHING. Almost every box of processed, packaged food on the shelves at the grocery store has some sort of added sugar, usually in the form of high fructose corn syrup.
Sugar addiction is something I definitely struggle with. When I'm not eating sugar I'm fine. I don't crave it and it doesn't even sound good to me. When I am eating sugar, it's all I want for every meal and I don't know when to stop.
But here's the good news.... I know that once I get it out of my system, which usually only takes a couple days for me, then it's soooo much easier to say no to it after that and to get back to my clean eating which I love.
So how do you get it out of your system? Easy... and hard... you stop eating it. Easy because it's clear cut, you know what to do. Hard because well, addiction. I can *say* I want to stop eating sugar all day long, but actually *doing* it isn't as easy. I go into every day with the best of intentions, and sometimes my sugar addiction gets the best of me.
Here's what I've found that works for me...
Yesterday was Day 1 of the 3-Day Refresh for me and by the end of the day I was already feeling better and had less cravings and was less bloated! And today I'm down 1.1 lbs already.
If you've been letting your sugar addiction take control for too long, please reach out and I can help set you up with a plan and the support you need to crush it!
And be sure to grab a friend to join you. Studies show that doing a fitness or nutrition program with a friend increases your chances of sticking with it. And wouldn't you want your friends to look and feel as amazing as you do!?
Peace, Love, Glitter & F Bombs,
Navigating perimenopause and unlearning past fads & trends to help you work WITH your body and THRIVE! ✨